Uhm this is hard for me because the first thing I want to do is cry. And the second thing I want to do is tell myself "quit crying."
About 7 years ago, I think, if my math is correct. My dad was diagnosed with a type of cancer called Multiple Meyloma. It's a bone/blood cancer that at the time should have gave him only six months. But my mom told the doctor not to tell her things like that because she had counted on 60 years at least with the man. (God only knows why!) So it started out as a tumor on his spine the probably would have been found earlier had he not lived in such a shit hole with such terrible doctors. But I'm being mean. He went through radiation and chemo and then he had surgery to remove a vertebrae. He has titanium rods in his back now, which he says gets super cold along with the weather.
When my dad got the first diagnosis I had just moved home from college after pretty much getting fired from a call center job that I hated. He had just lost his office manager so it was "my turn" to help him with his business. I remember when he had his "fanny pack" of chemo on his hip at work, and no one knew he was going through it because he never showed any signs of being sick or tired. Well to anyone but us. We knew. I knew he was tired, I knew he was sick. But I also knew in my heart that he was going to be just fine. Because the man is a bastard. He's just a strong bastard of a man and to ornery to die. After going through the radiation and chemo and surgery the doctors said he had a choice. He could go through chemo again every so often, or do a T-cell transplant and give him a greater chance of the cancer not EVER coming back. So he took option B, because he hated the chemo. He spent a month in the hospital and a couple more months recovering at home. It was weird to see my dad without hair. My whole life I never saw my dad with out hair and it was definitely different. He wouldn't take off his hat in public, not even for the anthem...(I know right?!)
He got better, and the mass was gone and all he had to do was go monthly to get a bone strengthener.
Well today I got news from my mom that they have found a similar mass on his ribs. So it looks like it's back for a second round. This is coming after we found out about a month or so ago that his sister's cancer had also come back, her's this time in her lymph nodes. This happened last time but in reverse. Dad got it first then his sister. Oh then his other crazy sister decided that "she had cancer too" but it was never really talked about, I always thought she was faking...(my opinion)
My dad has an appointment on Friday to see his oncologist and to get a better x-ray to make sure exactly what is going on with his ribs. So after that we will know more what is going on. The thing is, it's kinda thrown everyone in the family for a loop. I called my sister after talking to mom and I could tell she was crying, and I said "so it's okay for me to cry?" Then the next day my oldest sister called to see how I was doing, and we both just sat on the phone wondering how to take the whole thing. Dad is still not ready to talk about it. Of course. I know in my heart and from what I've read that it is not necessarily a death sentence if the cancer has come back. It just means more radiation and more chemo, which will be harder for him, because more is always bad of those two things.
I know with so many people touched with a cancer story this one is typical. It is one in a million or more, but it is our story. And it's hard on my mom. She's definitely not the same this time around as she was the last time. I think it has partly to do with the fact that she just got back from seeing her sister go through a surgery to remove lumps from her breast. And of course my dad's sister's cancer coming back.
My first instinct is to joke around with my dad and just try to ease everything a little. The first thing I told my mom after she told me the news was "Is he trying to show his sister up or something? Just because she has her cancer back doesn't mean he has to too!" And I know that would make my dad laugh. I would get a chuckle out of him. I haven't had a chance to talk to him in a couple of months or so, well a good talk anyway. I usually talk to him a couple of times a month, I don't know what happened this last month or two. I hope that as a family we get through this again. I know that my mom is a strong woman, but she's going to need a lot of support, I just hope we are up to the challenge.
Give a little prayer, if that's what you do, or just keep my dad and my mom in your thoughts tomorrow. I know some of you don't know them personally, but trust me, they're good people!
I know that most of my posts are very disjointed, but this might be the worst! Please forgive me!
1 day ago